#1 – Christine Kincaid Smith
August 1985 – Freshman Orientation Dance. I was a freshman and knew no one at school but a few girls that were on my floor at Mehling Hall. At one point during the dance, a handsome young man came up to me and asked me to dance. He said “My name is Chris and so is yours!” (I was shocked, but didn’t realize that he had asked someone else who had danced with me what my name was) These were the first words I ever heard him speak, and I was in love at first sight. I thought he looked like Tom Cruise, and he was a real gentleman. I didn’t talk to him again that night, but during the next week, I found out where he lived (Shipstad Hall), and that he was in ROTC and went over to meet up with him again after finding out that one of my hall friends had started dating his room mate. I gave him a hand-made cassette tape of my favorite R.E.M. songs, and he really loved it. Our first date was to the Oregon Symphony who came to play a concert at the Chiles Center. Our relationship continued, and I practically wore a path back and forth from Mehling to Shipstad to see my favorite ROTC cadet as much as I could. I had to get through my last year of nursing school without him as he had to leave to join the Air Force and enter Navigator training. It was a long year, but we made it through. We were married four years after we met. Our 30 years together have been full of ups and downs, military deployments to Desert Storm and other overseas locations for months at a time, and nine military moves from Maine to California, and points in between. We have four children and have settled in the Dayton, Ohio area. I know that the Lord had our relationship all set up before we ever entered college. I had always wanted to marry a man in uniform, and I got my wish. Praise God for Christopher Smith (1988) and the love that he has for me, and I for him. He is truly a blessing to me, and I wouldn’t want to spend life with anyone else. Thank you to the University of Portland for being such a big part in bringing us together. By the way, I still have that cassette tape.
#2 – Kelly Brockney Reynolds
#TBVD Throw back Valentine’s Day! Chris Reynolds and I met on Valentine’s Day, 1998 in Kenna Hall. I was supposed to go out on a date that night, but the guy was late. I wasn’t willing to wait around so I went out to coffee with my friends. Afterward, we were visiting in the hallway and a friend from Biology walked up with one of my neighbors and this other happy and handsome fella. He introduced himself as “Bob,” but I knew right away he was teasing me. We spent the next few hours laughing and getting to know each other. He spent much of the time delivering some really cheesy one-liners…I gave him my number, but really never expected him to call. The next day, dripping with sweat from a run, I answered a knock on my door. It was “Bob,” and he said, “I had to come over to make sure I wasn’t dreaming that I met the most beautiful woman in the world last night.” I laughed and agreed to go out with him. We have been together ever since. We have been happily married 13 years and have two wonderful future Pilots! It feels like we’ve already had a lifetime full of wonderful adventures together and it all started at UP!
#3 – Aimee Becker Rolin
Kris Rolin & I met the very FIRST weekend of our freshman year, 1997. He walked off the elevator in my dorm, Mehling Hall (was meeting up w/ a mutual friend) and it was love at first sight. We started dating almost immediately and I was so sure he was “the one” that by the time Fall Break rolled around, I had already called my mom and told her I had met the man I was going to marry- but not to worry, “I will finish college first!” Well my mom was tragically killed in a car accident while I was home visiting my family over Fall Break. I returned to school just one week later to finish what I started- as promised. Kris was by my side, every step of the way, supporting me as I worked to finish the dream my mom & I had shared … despite the very real struggle of grieving over the loss of my mom.
Ironically, Kris wasn’t even supposed to go to UP- he had planned to run for the Univ of WA- however that plan changed when the coach was fired & Kris was recruited by UP’s head XC coach, Rob Conner- when Kris won the WA state track 2 mile race his senior year of high school. Kris ran as a scholarship athlete for UP’s track & cross country teams the entire time he attended UP. I guess we have Coach Conner to thank for us meeting?! Skip ahead 17 years and here we are, married for 12 years!! We have 3 beautiful children- 4 year old Lucas, 2 year old Caroline & 4 month old Samuel. We live in California but Portland (UP especially) will always hold a special place in our hearts for that’s where our story began.
#4 – Alexandra Westover
Late Fall of 2002, I stopped by The Cove during a late evening Theology class with a girlfriend who was in University Singers with me. As we stood in line, she introduced me to a guy who happened to be in front of us in line. Tony and Jen had gone to Salzburg together, and I had just gotten back from my year abroad there. There was a spark, even just in our casual “nice to meet you”. We met again a week or so later at the infamous ” Salzburg Keg-off”, where my group obliterated his in the consuming of our keg (despite his group’s best attempts to rig the contest in their favor). We talked that night, amid our beloved Salzburgers, and met again later that week at the UP/ Gonzaga game (UP lost…do I need to remember that?) where he asked me out for the first time. We had our first date at the Brasserie and talked for hours. Nearly 2 years later, he proposed to me following an elaborate city-wide scavenger hunt that led me through all our favorite shared places. He had one of his friends at each spot, to hand me my next clue (very dedicated friends, considering it was 8am on a Saturday). I was given a final clue, which led me to the T-Room…and then I was mad. I thought to myself, “If he proposes to me at the T-Room….I’m saying ‘no’!!” But, lo and behold, there was his friend Jesse, waiting to hand me my last clue. That clue led me to the Bluff, where Tony had set up a white tent with a table covered in a huge bouquet of white flowers. He handed me my final “clue”, which was a proposal. He got down on one knee and asked if I would marry him, right there on campus, by the statue of Lewis and Clark and their guide, overlooking Portland. We married a year later, at my home parish Saint Mary’s Eugene. We are celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary this September, along with our three beautiful children. Every time we return to the Bluff, it’s like revisiting the start of our love story.
#5 – Katherine Lilly
My husband, Max Lilly, and I met in high school and started dating the summer before our Junior year. Although we are high school sweethearts, our years at UP were more formative and influential than any of the others. On September 7, 2012, Max was asked to emcee the half time show at the UP Women’s soccer game against Notre Dame– the biggest game of the season. All of our friends and family came to watch the game. Even though I was reluctant, I finally agreed to take photographs of the event for the Air Force and Army ROTC programs. Little did I know, I would be getting a lot more attention than I thought.
At the end of the show, Max asked me to meet him in the middle of the field. He proceeded to tell the story of the moment he knew he wanted to be with me for the rest of his life. Eventually, he got down on one knee and proposed to me in front of thousands of spectators. We got married in May of 2013, and we now live happily in Hawaii. UP will always have a special place in our hearts.